Virtual Tourist 02/25/22

Table of Contents

News/Musings StoryOrigin Swap 1
Virtual Tourist – Lost Ark NDT Swap
February Giveaway Extravaganza


I hope you’ve been keeping warm! It’s freezing out there! Brrr. 🥶



The logic read-through for White Gold is now complete. The third pass is in process using my second grammar program, looking for echoes, more grammar stuff, etc. Super time consuming, but once it’s done, the manuscript will be ready to send to the editor in April. Huzzah!

Sometimes I am a sucker for lifetime software deals. Basically, you pay for the software/service once and all updates and changes after that are free! One that I looked at and caved into is called Listen2It. They use AI-based algorithms to turn text into speech. They have a ton of voices you can pick from and you can even tweak those if you desire. Mind you, it won’t replace a real person recorded audiobook, but it’s great for giving visitors yet another alternative on how to sample the sample chapters. The process was even pretty simple.

With an embed code, you can then add the sound file to your webpage. I’ve only gotten the first chapter of Inner Demons done and on the page, but if you want to check it out, you can see the page with the player here. (Update: since I wrote this for the newsletter, I’ve done a few more!)

You can even download the audio file to listen to it wherever you want! I’ll try to get more of these up over the next week or two as time permits.

If you give it a listen, let me know what you think about the recording. I just thought it was too cool to pass up! 😎

Extra content today:

1) StoryOring Swap 1

2) Dream Team Network Swap 1

3) February Giveaway Extravaganza!

Scroll on down to get all the deets. 😉



StoryOrigin Swap 1

With a criminal on her tail, a magical Academy is the best place to hide. Right?

As the only child of a broke single mom, Mal Jones knows that whatever she wants; she has to get for herself. Her new side hustle isn’t exactly legal, but her magical powers keep her safe.

But when a bit of bad luck leads to the local police almost busting her, Mal can only escape to Legend Valley Academy, a paranormal boarding school.

With a criminal on her tail—who thinks she’s a snitch—a magical Academy in another freaking dimension is the best place to lay low. Right?


All she had to do was keep her head down and wait this year out, but not standing out is harder than Mal thought.

Turns out, her deadbeat dad is famous.

And something horrible is going on at the Academy.

The worst part: Mal is one of the only witnesses…

Dive into the first book of a trilogy set in an engrossing supernatural world featuring an intriguing mystery, slow-burn romance, and mythical monsters and creatures from every culture in the world!

**This is an ARC for review purposes only. The final book may have some minor changes once published.**

Lost Ark

Lost Ark is a free-to-play fantasy MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online game). They make their $$ from in-game purchases by players. It went online several weeks ago.

It’s super pretty, and the music and voice acting are good. The game, I’ve been told, is a lot like the old game Diablo.

It has a large learning curve, in my opinion, but it still manages to be fun. Unlike most MMO’s I’ve played, this one has click-based movement rather than the WASD keys, which are used for attacks. So, I fumbled a lot at first. Their tutorials are on the sucky side, so that didn’t help. As you progress, more and more things get thrown in to keep track of—pets, cards, combos, crafting, etc.

One thing I like a lot is that you don’t have to team up to clear a dungeon. They scale to the number of people in the party which can be from 1 to 4 players. So for casual players, this is awesome!

I have a sampling of pics in the newsletter, but if you want to see all I have so far, you can see them here.


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First view of the starting area during the game introduction. So pretty! Has some of the look and feel of the Final Fantasy MMO.

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You have been tasked with finding information on the Lost Ark, an object of great power lost long ago. But you’re not the only one looking for it. The demons want it, too.



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​A mural in the flooded ruins.

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The important area with the city ruins was under an illusion. It was released as we watched from the cliff.


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The area where the clue we are seeking is hidden. The church has employed a ton of people to look for the clues, but not all of them are doing it in the interests of humanity. The stone statues were a hint this area had traps for those without the blessing of the entities. (Like a lot of games, you’re the hero of the tale—the chosen one.)


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A closeup of my character. Sadly, most of the female gear is skimpy and all have 6-inch heels. I chose a female martial artist, sub-class of war dancer. The big things on her arms are her fighting gear.


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View of the first town you go to. They keep calling it a village, but it’s too big for that. LOL. There are spots in different locations that will give you an overhead, spanning view of a place if you click on them. I thought that was spiffy!


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​Walls of the temple that contain the first clues on finding the Holocron.





DTN Swap 1

All of his life, Tank has trained with his father to become the ultimate killing machine. He hopes to compete in The Ceremony, a fight to the death between others in his village who are of age and willing to participate.

In contrast, his friend Naf is too small and weak for anyone to take him seriously enough to train. Even with Tank’s help, Naf struggles to pick up basic combat moves, much less defend himself against the local bully, Roaz, who is determined to see both Tank and Naf fail.

Right now, Naf’s a liability, and the last thing Tank needs is dead weight. Tank doesn’t know if Naf will learn to fight back before the next attack comes. When it does, he’ll have to decide if saving his friend is worth sacrificing his future.

February Giveaway Extravaganza Banner

February Giveaway Extravaganza! – There’s still time to get these short stories and books for several genres.

Until next time! Stay warm and happy reading!